Tuesday, January 25, 2022
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The secularism debate

Some people are saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not secular. By saying this, they perhaps mean that he will discriminate between Hindus and Muslims thereby creating problems for the latter. Muslims are also worried about a repeat of an incident like the 2002 Gujarat riots. During that time Modi was new in public administration and perhaps he could not exercise control in a better manner. In such cases, there always emerges a better way when you look from the hindsight.

Modi has already said in an interview that he will work for improving the centre-state relationship. All states are coordinating with each other and ruling parties should not say that they have sent money and the state government failed to use it. This difference between we and they should vanish. When Modi says, “Ek Bharat Srestha Bharath”, such fears emerge as if he is going to do something very radical.

We can make our country “shreshtha” by working on the basics. Unbridled growth in human population has to be checked, illegal immigration has to stop (this was hitherto being encouraged for creating vote bank) because otherwise the pressure on available resources will grow. Discipline and accountability has to be included in our administrative system. Allocation of funds does not reach at the grassroots level on account of bureaucratic hurdles.

Skill development programme must be undertaken for the expansion of Railways and road networks (with the help of existing industries). People talk about secularism without working. You understand about secularism not when you are young but after gaining experience of a life time. Muslims are by and large secular because they work, create wealth, jobs, art and music etc; only those who indulge in vote bank politics are not secular. Same is the case with Hindus. The average Hindu who works and leads a normal life, educates their children and injects good habits in them, is secular.

Only those who indulge in corrupt religious practices are not secular. In the last six months, have you heard about the Directive principals in our constitution on any television show? Our TV channels and those who are regulars on these are the ones indulging in needless gossip of secularism. On the other hand, those who are working efficiently in various fields of endeavor are doing better service to the nation and are much more secular. Thus in short, those who work are secular and idlers are not.

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